Need Help?

Get in touch with us


What does ACT stand for? All you need to know about ACT

Oct 23, 2022
What Does the ACT Stand For?

Which place do you visit more often for search and research? Google, right? If we knew the answer to the question – what does ACT stand for – we wouldn’t have visited Google ever. After you type ‘ACT full form’ in the Google search bar, it will show ACT/Full name as American College Testing. Yep, that is what it stands for! However, there are a few other meanings to this acronym one will find on the world wide web.

Arranged alphabetically, the most common are Active, Activity, Actual, American Coming Together, American Community Treatment, Australian Capital Territory, and many more. These are far or less important as they do not belong to the educational background. Since you might be preparing for an exam you would look for a full form belonging to your education or academic experience. And this is how we double-check and confirm what ACT stands for American College Testing.


So, do we get its meaning by only knowing the ACT’s full form? Did we understand what it is just by knowing what ACT stands for? Probably, no! Which tests come to your mind while thinking about standardized tests for admission to a college or university?

ACT Full Form: In-depth meaning

American College Testing, widely known as ACT, is an entrance exam that measures students’ college readiness. Students are admitted to well-renowned colleges based on their ACT scores. Moreover, ACT provides a common data point for comparing all the aspirants. Therefore, ACT scores play a crucial role, along with your high school grades, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular activities. The higher the ACT score, the better the college you will get.


ACT was found to recognize students’ skills belonging to a specific background. Therefore, your progress of improvement and how you will perform in the future are determined by your ACT score. In previous days, ACT was different from SAT in terms of competitiveness, the pattern of exams, and the scoring scheme. But today, the SAT and ACT have similar patterns and difficulty levels.

How will you qualify for an entrance exam when you do not know the exam pattern? Finding the right material sources is equally important as collecting information for the exam. SAT prepared a booklet, which did not improve the score and was difficult to prepare. On the other hand, ACT prepared a handbook, which students found easy to use. Moreover, they scored good marks on the ACT exam. Double delight for aspirants to achieve more by learning with ease!


What are the different sections and durations in the ACT exam?

How important is it to be familiar with the ACT exam pattern? Aspirants who are well-acquainted with the exam pattern and syllabus tend to manage their time better than those who do not have a hint regarding the exam pattern. ACT is a stress-impressive exam. It requires well-planned time management to score better and excel with flying colors. Here are key points to be kept in mind while preparing for the ACT exam:

  • ACT comprises four sections – English, Math, Reading, and Science – and an optional fifth section – essay writing.
  • There are 215 questions (excluding one optional essay), which the students need to attempt in 2 hours and 55 minutes.
  • The additional optional section is scheduled for 40 minutes and consists of a single essay.
  • The English section consists of 75 questions, which the candidates need to answer in 45 minutes.
  • The 60 questions in the Math section need to be completed in 60 minutes. Do the math: how much time do you need to attend one question?
  • 35 minutes are given to solve 40 questions in both Science and Reading sections.
  • Two breaks are provided after the Math and Science sections of 10 and 5 minutes, respectively.

Now, are you wondering about the start and end timings for the exam? Candidates need to struggle to attend the ACT exam early in the morning. The exam starts at 8:30 a.m. according to the Indian Standard Timings and finishes at 12:20 p.m. after the optional essay section is over. Moreover, the exam is over after the Science exam at 11:35 a.m.


The table below lists the summary of the durations and exam patterns of the ACT exam:

ACT Section Number of Questions Duration  Start Time End Time
English7545 minutes8:30 a.m.9:15 a.m.
Math6060 minutes9:15 a.m.10:15 a.m.
Break10 minutes10:15 a.m.10:25 a.m.
Reading4035 minutes10:25 a.m.11:00 a.m.
Science4035 minutes11:00 a.m.11:35 a.m.
Break (for essay writing only)5 minutes11:35 a.m.11:40 a.m.
The optional essay writing section140 minutes11:40 a.m.12:20 p.m.

Understood the ACT full form? Here’s how to prepare for the ACT!

Time is the most crucial factor when appearing for the ACT exam. Be it preparation or attempting the exam in reality, managing time is the uttermost need. Yet, students remain confused and stressed about preparing for the ACT exam. Though ACT is a pressured exam, it doesn’t mean one cannot remain calm while preparing. Getting good marks is another commonest dilemma that most students face. Then how to handle the situation?


The answer to all these questions is bulleted below:
● Go through every concept of the ACT syllabus. Revise them as much as you can.
● Since there is no negative marking, attempt every question quickly and accurately.
● For the Math section, concentrate on attending to fewer questions with more accuracy.
● Memory retention, frequent reading, and grasping quickly is very important for the English, Reading, and Science sections. You can master your mind and be skillful.
● Take mock tests seriously like they are your real exams. And do not try to skip the mock tests.
● Work on your weak points. Do not make them perfect. But they should be strong enough to help you score better marks.
● Make a proper strategy on how to prepare for the exam. It should not be complex, but a simple one that can make you stick to it.
● Know your pace! If you don’t know your speed, find it. Analyze it. Choose the best that will come in handy for scoring good marks.
● Some things may not work as you want. So, do not spend the time finding ways to make things work out.
● Practice as much as you can. Not in your mind, but with pen and paper. The more you practice, the more clarity you will get in every concept.

Importance of ACT: Why should you choose this over SAT?

In merely 30 years, ACT’s popularity has surpassed the popularity of SAT. It is now considered by almost every college. In 2005, an optional writing section was added, a booster for students to excel more in English. However, the marks of this section are not factored in the main ACT score.


After the overhauling of SAT in 2016, many questions were raised. Universities and colleges wanted a simplified version of admitting students, which must include several other study materials and qualifications of the students. ACT scores can be understood effortlessly by anyone. So, why would anyone opt for a laborious exam when they can choose a manageable one?

Both SAT and ACT scores offer scholarships. So, why do students choose ACT over SAT? Here is a brief breakdown of the differences between the ACT and SAT:

Criteria ACT SAT
ScoreScales from 1 to 36Scales from 400 to 1600
Test duration2 hours 55 minutes (without essay)

3 hours 35 minutes (with essay)

3 hours (without essay)

3 hours 50 minutes (with essay)





Essay writing (optional)


Writing and language


Essay writing (optional)

Usage of calculatorAllowed for all Math questionsAllowed in a few Math questions
English syllabusGrammar/punctuation

Rhetorical skills

Sentence structure


Editing skills


Mathematics syllabusAlgebra I and II

Trigonometry and Geometry



Algebra I and II

Trigonometry and Geometry



Data analysis

Reading syllabus4 reading passages5 reading passages
Science syllabusNo particular syllabus. This section checks your science-based critical reasoning and thinking abilities.None as no science is present.
Optional essaysThis section will test your evaluation and analytical skills.This will test your comprehension skills of a given paragraph.
Number of times test conducted6 times a year7 times a year in the US

5 times a year internationally

Exam feeFind the latest fee details on the ACT official website.Find the latest fee details on the SAT official website.

Conclusion: Be ready to shine in ACT!

ACT is one of the most significant entrance exams. Highly stressful but manageable. How to manage it? By managing time! Time is the key factor that can assist you to score more and outshine others. Remove nervousness and negative thoughts from your mind. Knowing everything from top to bottom about ACT, making proper plans, sticking to the routines, practicing, and revising in your free time, and relaxing your mind can boost your confidence. Additionally, nobody is perfect. Practice makes you perfect.

What Does the ACT Stand For


Relevant Articles

what is the lowest ACT score colleges will accept

What Is The Lowest ACT Score Colleges Will Accept?

The wish to pursue quality education for a dream career …

What Is The Lowest ACT Score Colleges Will Accept? Read More »

Writing section of ACT

Know and Improve Your ACT Writing Section

Reaching prestigious institutions is the ultimate goal of thousands of …

Know and Improve Your ACT Writing Section Read More »

ACT Scoring Chart

Unlocking Success: Navigating the ACT Scoring Chart and Effective Strategies

The ACT Scoring Chart fills in as a thorough visual …

Unlocking Success: Navigating the ACT Scoring Chart and Effective Strategies Read More »

Digital ACT

Empowering Students: Advantages and Challenges of the Digital ACT

The landscape of standardized testing has gone through an extraordinary …

Empowering Students: Advantages and Challenges of the Digital ACT Read More »


Study Abroad

card img

With Turito Study Abroad

card img

With Turito Study Abroad

card img

Get an Expert Advice from Turito

card img

Get an Expert Advice from Turito


card img

With Turito CAP.


card img

With Turito Coding.


card img

With Turito RoboNinja


card img

1-on-1 tutoring for the undivided attention